Waymo, the self-driving car unit owned by Google s parent company Alphabet and Uber have locked horns in a legal battle which began in February. Waymo had filed a lawsuit against Uber for allegedly stealing trade secrets for their self-driving cars technology. The lawsuit specifically targets Anthony Levandowski, an ex-Googler and currently Uber s head of autonomous vehicles who is accused of downloading 14,000 confidential files on self-driving technology which is now being used by Uber. A new name has popped up in the case that also happens to be an ex-Googler named Lior Ron. Also Read - Bengaluru govt bans Ola, Uber, Rapido autos for overchargingAlso Read - Google Pixel 7 launched at Rs 59,999 in India: Alternatives to consider
To make things clearer, both Levandowski and Ron worked at Google earlier but left to start their self-driving trucking company Otto which was launched in May 2016 and later acquired by Uber in August for $680 million. Google had made a set of documents public on Monday which revealed more information regarding the case. Although the documents were redacted and did not directly point out Lior Ron s name, there were mentions of the person as co-founder of Otto and the first name Lior also appears according to Business Insider. His last name Ron is also said to have appeared on the same page where Lior was seen but were not used together.
The documents filed explain that Levandowski and Ron started their own self-driving business Otto while they were still working at Google. The two accused are also said to have tried recruiting other Google employees to join Otto by luring them with confidential information about the company like salaries and compensation packages. ALSO READ: Google s self-driving firm sues Uber; here s why
Waymo s lawsuit against Uber claims that Levandowski used special software to download the 14,000 files and did not leave any trace by reformatting his computer. Uber is said to have used the alleged stolen information after it acquired Levandowski s company Otto. Cnet reports that Waymo is seeking an injunction as well against Uber s autonomous car platform. This could result in Uber stopping any progress to their self-driving project which is currently underway in Pennsylvania, Arizona and California. Uber is said to present its case against Waymo by the end of this week. ALSO READ: Uber grounds its self-driving cars fleet after crash in Arizona